If you are a vlogger, the good news is that you can get a camera for filmmaking on a budget.
If you are a content creator, social media fan, or just someone who peruses the internet, you have probably come across the term vlog – and you may be wondering just what it means. You may also get interested in making money via vlogging, which is totally doable. Here’s a hint: It involves vlogging cameras. We will cover that too.
If you are serious about vlogging, a dedicated vlogging camera is an incredibly useful investment for high-quality, stable video to impress your audience. But sometimes you just don’t have the time or resources to purchase a separate camera just for your vlog.
Fortunately, your iPhone is probably always by your side, and smartphones can help you create a vlog. We don’t exactly suggest using a smartphone for your videos if you have any other option, but today’s iPhone cameras and video settings are powerful enough to record usable footage in a pinch.
As we know, mobile devices provide an easy, accessible way to create video content; dedicated cameras offer advantages in video quality. Larger sensors, interchangeable lenses, external microphones, and manual exposure settings give users more control over the visuals and sound effects. DSLR and mirrorless cameras also allow the recording of high-resolution videos with more dynamic range.
Using editing apps on a mobile device can create polished videos, but shooting on a camera provides more professional footage to start with. For casual homemade vlogs, smartphones offer simplicity. But for next-level production value, devices designed for high-end video capture remain superior to mobile alternatives.
Let’s talk about what you should focus on.
Find the Right Apps
You could certainly use the native video function on the iPhone camera. However, this may not produce great video in all circumstances, and these cameras can sometimes struggle to properly capture faces without making them look…weird.
Smartphone cameras optimize for simplicity and portability, but can lack video performance. The smaller sensor struggles in low natural light compared to larger cameras, sometimes needing the built-in light. Stabilization may be digital rather than optical. The fixed wide-angle lens provides little control over video framing, which makes for a poor vlogging experience.
Slow motion and high frame rate settings are limited compared to dedicated video cameras with faster processors and video speeds. Without the ability to connect external mics, vlog audio quality suffers as well. While smartphones suffice for casual clips, critical vloggers will likely find their capabilities lacking for main vlog video capture. In short, using the native video function on the iPhone is one of the don’ts in our vlogging tips.
A better alternative is to download an app that makes the absolute best of the iPhone camera functions, such as Filmic. Such apps provide a suite of tools for adjusting the picture, tracking action, adjusting frame rates, and much more.
One of these video and editing apps is basically required if you want your video to look professional. However, you will have to spend time learning the app and its controls to gain confidence, so don’t be afraid to experiment with new software. You’ll also want to experiment with artificial light and lighting equipment to enhance your video.
If you really don’t want to download and learn a new app, we suggest you move the video over to a Mac and work with iMovie to edit it when you are finished.
Add Some Accessories to Your iPhone When Vlogging
If you are going to be using your iPhone for the foreseeable future, then you should really invest in a few extra accessories that can make a world of difference. For example, an iPhone-based tripod is required for many types of vlogging, and advanced versions can grip to bars or branches for outside work.
You may also want to consider an iPhone-compatible mini directional microphone. Audio can be particularly tricky for an iPhone, but you want crystal clear audio for posting a vlog, so this is tricky territory. A mini mic may be an expensive investment, but it can solve a lot of your audio problems, especially if you’re in a noisier environment.
There are plenty of other accessories you can consider too, such as a waterproof case, or specially-made lenses that fit over your iPhone. Find the right indispensable accessories, and you will be surprised at what your iPhone can do.
Tips When Beginning Vlogging
Remember to use landscape mode: Landscape mode – holding the phone horizontally – has become a basic video courtesy in today’s mobile streaming world. Essentially, portrait mode’s weird formatting isn’t very compatible with online posting techniques and leads to visual issues, so landscape video is a must. Plus, those accessories we mentioned before are usually designed to work in landscape mode, not portrait (yes, you do see some teen YouTubers taking video in portrait mode, but they literally don’t know what they’re doing, so don’t worry about that).
Always enable image stabilization: One issue that smartphones encounter with longer videos is that they are very sensitive to movement, which means the video can jostle and shake even when you think you are standing still. Image stabilization solves this issue. You should always make sure that image stabilization options are enabled in any video app that you use – even if you are also using a tripod, and especially if you are moving around.
Lighting is important: There’s not much you can do with an iPhone to control lighting. However, you can move around very easily and find new camera angles. It’s a good idea to find the angles that cast the most light on your subject. Because smartphones can be a little weird in how they register light, this may require repositioning.
Yes, a selfie stick can be very useful: Selfie sticks are common in vlogging because they allow you to get the camera at just the right distance from your face to make it look normal instead of that annoying close-up bloated look that smartphones sometimes show (and include other people in the video more easily). Also, you can move around with a selfie stick while still providing some extra stabilization for your shot.